First Ever CG Animated Television Series, New Western Video Game Developers, and Robust Licensing Program Introduce A New Look for Sonic and Friends
LONDON & SAN FRANCISCO (February 6, 2014) – For more than two decades Sonic the Hedgehog has been one of the world’s biggest gaming icons, with over 70 video game titles, four animated series, and an extensive global merchandising line to his name. This year SEGA® is excited to introduce a new branch of the Sonic universe, entitled Sonic Boom , that will debut a new look for Sonic and friends and launch their first-ever CG animated television series, new videogames for Wii U™ system and Nintendo 3DS™ hand-held system and a new toy line. The creative driving forces behind these projects are working together with SEGA to kick-start a global campaign for Sonic Boom ™ that will excite and engage new and existing fans across a variety of platforms.
Sonic Boom’s visual identity includes character designs inspired by the abilities and unique personalities of each of the characters while still maintaining the core identity and values of the Sonic brand. The rich worlds of the TV series and videogame will share a common narrative and a number of location and stylistic similarities reflecting full collaboration between videogame, TV series partners and SEGA from the outset.
The Sonic Boom television series, coproduced by SEGA of America Inc. and OuiDO! Productions, will debut on Cartoon Network in the U.S. and on CANAL J and GULLI in France during the 2014/2015 season. The series is an ensemble comedy consisting of 52 x 11-minute standalone episodes packed full of high-adrenaline action. Every episode starts from a small character-driven story and explodes into an epic tale of saving the world, robot battles and more.
Serving as a prequel to the stories revealed in the TV series the Sonic Boom video game will deliver a totally different experience to previous Sonic games with collaborative gameplay at its core. Developed in the U.S by California based Big Red Button Entertainment (Wii U™) and Sanzaru Games (Nintendo 3DS™) in collaboration with Sonic Team, this is the third title to be released as part of an exclusive deal with Nintendo®. Sonic Boom will take advantage of the innovative hardware of both the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, with traditional elements of Sonic games, such as speed, also featured. The videogame will also introduce exploration, combat and a new Enerbeam tether mechanic that will allow the Sonic Boom world to be discovered in totally unique ways.
Sonic Boom will be supported by a robust global licensing and merchandising program, anchored by new master toy partner TOMY. TOMY’s line will showcase the new character looks, stressing interaction between core characters, and will feature new play patterns based on both the new game and TV series. TOMY will develop a comprehensive toy range across a broad number of categories including plush, action figures, RC, role play, vehicles and novelty. Sonic fans can expect a high-quality, collectible toy line fueled by TOMY innovation and energized with speed, lights, sounds, motion-activation and action-performance. SEGA will launch a broad licensing program across multiple categories including toys, apparel, publishing, accessories, food and beverage and more – making this one of the biggest license initiatives SEGA has undertaken in recent years. The company will enlist many of its current partners who have had tremendous success with Sonic over the past years while seeking new licensees to join this exciting new Sonic licensing program.
“SEGA is constantly looking to feed the appetite of Sonic fans, new and existing alike” commented Hiroyuki Miyazaki, SEGA’s Chief Content Officer for Sonic. “The various pieces of the Sonic Boom project, such as its unique look, mix of comedy, and action and its focus on the whole ensemble with Sonic as the star, offer another exciting part of that universe for people to explore and enjoy. It will be at once familiar but also new.”
Sonic the Hedgehog first appeared as a videogame character in June 1991 and instantly became an icon for a generation of gamers. Defined by his super-fast speed and cool attitude, in the years since he first raced on to videogame consoles Sonic has become a true global phenomenon with over 140 million videogames sold or downloaded worldwide across consoles, PC’s, mobile phones and tablets. SEGA’s iconic blue blur has also gone on to enjoy incredible success in many licensed areas, such as toys, apparel, comics and animation.
The Sonic Boom TV series is a coproduction between SEGA of America Inc. and OuiDO! Productions. Executive producers on the show are Evan Baily, Donna Friedman Meir and Jane McGregor on behalf of SEGA, and Sandrine Nguyen and Boris Hertzog from OuiDO!. Other partners involved in the TV series include Lagardère Entertainment Rights for distribution and Lagardère Active TV Licensing & New Business for licensing and merchandise in France.
About SEGA® Europe Ltd.:
SEGA® Europe Ltd. is the European Distribution arm of Tokyo, Japan-based SEGA® Corporation, and a worldwide leader in interactive entertainment both inside and outside the home. The company develops and distributes interactive entertainment software products for a variety of hardware platforms including PC, wireless devices, and those manufactured by Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. SEGA® Europe’s web site is located at www.sega.com
About SEGA® of America, Inc. :
SEGA® of America, Inc. is the American arm of Tokyo, Japan-based SEGA® Corporation, a worldwide leader in interactive entertainment both inside and outside the home. The company develops, publishes and distributes interactive entertainment software products for a variety of hardware platforms including PC, wireless devices, and those manufactured by Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. SEGA® of America’s Web site is located at www.sega.com
About OuiDO Productions:
Headed by Sandrine Nguyen and Boris Hertzog, OuiDo Productions produces animation TV Series adapted from national and international well-known licences such as: "Alvinnnn & the Chipmunks" (52 x 13') for M6; co-produced by Bagdasarian Productions ; "Sonic Boom" (52 x 13') for Gulli/Canal J and Cartoon Network (USA), co-produced by SEGA ; "Mini Wolf", season 2 (52 x 7') for France Télévision.
OuiDO Productions also develops with TF1 and Canal J a TV Series based on the comic books published by Editions Delcourt, "The Legendaires" (26 x 22') and intends to keep on acquiring the audiovisual adaptation rights for existing licences and original properties.
About Cartoon Network :
Cartoon Network (CartoonNetwork.com) is regularly the #1 U.S. television network in prime among boys 6-11 & 9-14. Currently seen in 99 million U.S. homes and 194 countries around the world, Cartoon Network is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.’s ad-supported cable service now available in HD offering the best in original, acquired and classic entertainment for kids and families. In addition to Emmy-winning original programming and industry-leading digital apps and online games, Cartoon Network embraces key social issues affecting families with solution-oriented initiatives such as Stop Bullying: Speak Up and the Move It Movement.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.
About GULLI/CANAL J:
As France’s leading free youth and family channel, GULLI, operated by Lagardère Active and France Télévisions, draws an audience of both children and parents, with 6 million viewers daily. Since 2010, GULLI is France’s best known channel in its category. Today, in addition to the television channel, GULLI is a true family entertainment platform available on a wide variety of media, including digital (gulli.fr, GULLI Replay, connected TV applications, tablets and mobile phones, iTunes, etc.), with a full audio range, magazines, toys and field events. (Source: Mediamat/Mediametrie, annuel 2012)
CANAL J, the channel aimed at 8 to 12 years old, operated by Lagardère Active, confirms the wealth and diversity of its programming featuring animated series, comedy series and original shows based on the channel’s two mainstays: adventure and humour. CANAL J keeps a close eye on what’s happening on the playground, continues to reflect the key aspects of children’s lives.
About Big Red Button Games:
Based in Los Angeles, CA, BRB was founded in 2009 by Bob Rafei, Jeff Lander, and veterans from leading gaming studios such as Naughty Dog, Heavy Iron, Luxo Flux and High Impact Games, to leverage team’s specialization and prior experience in character action game development.
About Sanzaru Games:
Sanzaru Games is a California based independent videogame developer founded in 2007. The studio has created many award winning games on platforms such as the PS3, PS Vita, Wii, PC, DS, iOS and Android platforms for a variety of publishers including Sony Computer Entertainment, Electronic Arts and Nintendo.
About Lagardere Entertainment Rights:
Lagardère Entertainment Rights - the Lagardère Entertainment distribution arm - managed by Emmanuelle Bouilhaguet, is one of Europe’s largest distributors of television programs. LER’s catalogue of 7,000 hours spans every genre: fiction (‘Transporter – The Series’, ‘Dear Neighbours’, ‘Josephine Guardian Angel, ‘Justice Street, ‘Un Gars, une Fille’); documentary (‘Life Before Life, ‘Les Nouveaux Explorateurs, ‘the Cousteau catalogue’); animation (‘Xiaolin Chronicles’, ‘Mini-Wolf’, ‘Scary Larry’); and feature films (‘Cyrano de Bergerac’, ‘The Horseman on the Roof, ‘Evening Dress’).
About Lagardère Active TV Licensing and New Business:
Created in September 2010, Lagardère Active TV Licensing & New Business is a Division of Lagardère Active, the French Media Group. Its activity is integrated in the core of the Production, Acquisition and Programming Strategy of the 3 main Kids and Youth TV Channels developed by the Group: GULLI, CANAL J and TiJi
About TOMY International:
TOMY International ( www.tomy.com) is a leading global designer, producer and marketer of a broad range of innovative, high-quality toys sold to preschoolers, youths and adults under the TOMY®, Ertl®, Johnny Lightning®, Battroborg TM and Tomica® brands as well as products for parents, infants and toddlers marketed under its The First Years®, Lamaze, JJ Cole® Collections and Boon® brands. TOMY International also markets its products under popular and classic licensed properties such as Sonic The Hedgehog, Chuggington, Pokémon, Dinosaur Train, John Deere, Disney's Winnie the Pooh, Princesses, Cars, Fairies and Toy Story, and other well-known properties. TOMY International's mission is to inspire and fulfill the dreams of children and parents worldwide. TOMY International reaches its target consumers through multiple channels of distribution supporting more than 25,000 retail outlets throughout North and South America, Europe and Australia. TOMY International is a wholly owned subsidiary of Japan-based TOMY Company, Ltd. (Tokyo Stock Exchange Code No. 7867). © TOMY
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